Category Archives: higher ground

Evolution

On Tuesday a young man got fired for stealing beer so he opened fire and killed nine co-workers. On Wednesday a middle-aged couple in a small “upscale” town in northern NY had a domestic squabble. The man shot his wife in the head and later shot himself, also in the head and they both lived (so far). (What will happen when they recover. Will they return home to partake of more marital bliss? Hopefully the husband will be in jail, but not necessarily.) Did this stuff always go on? The domestic stuff did, I’m sure. The mass revenge massacres, not so sure.

What to make of this?

We are not really civilized completely – the sort of “naked ape” argument. We’re still hard-wired for survival and consequently we still use our hunter/warrior brains.

We are killing so many avatars on video screens that we are anesthetized to violence. Killing people doesn’t seem real. They’ll get up. They have a “life” left.

As the world gets more crowded individual human life will have less and less value.

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do and damn the consequences.

These drives are in all of us, but some of us exercise more control because we have stronger wills, or healthier families or character-building childhood, or we have not pumped ourselves full of psychotropic drugs.

We do know that killing must be considered a criminal act (although we suspend this in time of war), punishable by the sentences of society. When we have soldiers so long at war, what do we do to them when they kill at home?

I hate killing so much. I have such a hard time with this. However hardened we get, I bet not one of us wants to be shot. Can we ever have a society where this human trait disappears? Can we have the “new” man? Do we want the “new” man? Could s/he survive in a possibly hostile universe? Apparently traits don’t evolve until they are no longer useful. So let’s hope there is a highly evolved universe out there that we will join someday.